Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV. 1876–79.



By Anonymous

WHEN Europe, freed, confessed the saving power

Of Marlborough’s hand, Britain, who sent him forth

Chief of confederate hosts, to fight the cause

Of liberty and justice, grateful raised

This palace, sacred to her leader’s fame;

A trophy of success; with spoils adorned

Of conquered towns, and glorying in the name

Of that auspicious field where Churchill’s sword

Vanquished the might of Gallia, and chastised

Rebel Bavar. Majestic in its strength

Stands the proud dome, and speaks its great design.


Now through the stately portals issuing forth,

The Muse to softer glories turns, and seeks

The woodland shade, delighted. Not the vale

Of Tempé, famed in song, or Ida’s grove

Such beauty boasts. Amid the mazy gloom

Of this romantic wilderness once stood

The bower of Rosamonda, hapless fair,

Sacred to grief and love: the crystal fount

In which she used to bathe her beauteous limbs

Still warbling flows, pleased to reflect the face

Of Spencer, lovely maid, when tired she sits

Beside its flowery brink, and views those charms

Which only Rosamond could once excel.

But see where flowing with a nobler stream,

A limpid lake of purest waters rolls

Beneath the wide-stretched arch, stupendous work,

Through which the Danube might collected pour

His spacious urn! Silent awhile and smooth

The current glides, till with an headlong force

Broke and disordered, down the steep it falls

In loud cascades; the silver-sparkling foam

Glitters relucent in the dancing ray.

In these retreats reposed the mighty soul

Of Churchill, from the toils of war and state,

Splendidly private, and the tranquil joy

Of contemplation felt, while Blenheim’s dome

Triumphal ever in his mind renewed

The memory of his fame, and soothed his thoughts

With pleasing record of his glorious deeds.

So by the rage of faction, home recalled,

Lucullus, while he waged successful war

Against the pride of Asia, and the power

Of Mithridates, whose aspiring mind

No losses could subdue, enriched with spoils

Of conquered nations, back returned to Rome,

And in magnificent retirement past

The evening of his life.

Lo! where towering on the height

Of yon aerial pillar proudly stands

Thy image, like a guardian god, sublime,

And awes the subject plain: beneath his feet

The German eagles spread their wings, his hand

Grasps Victory, its slave. Such was thy brow

Majestic, such thy martial port, when Gaul

Fled from thy frown, and in the Danube sought

A refuge from thy sword.

Nor shall the constant love

Of her who raised this monument be lost

In dark oblivion: that shall be the theme

Of future bards in ages yet unborn,

Inspired with Chaucer’s fire, who in these groves

First tuned the British harp, and little deemed

His humble dwelling should the neighbor be

Of Blenheim, house superb; to which the throng

Of travellers approaching shall not pass

His roof unnoted, but respectful hail

With reverence due. Such honor does the Muse

Obtain her favorites.